Upon entering the premises, we were hit by the staleness in the air.
What’s that smell? Is it coming from the walls? Cramped dining interior? Damp air? The food??! I hope not. Part wet dog and plastic, I can’t put my finger to it. Whatever. Let’s just hold our breaths and order. Urp.
Then came the question, “Sparkling or still?”
“Sure ma’am. No problem.”
Score 1 for the quick and correct answer. And strike 1 for calling me ma’am. Lol! I kid.
The service was attentive. So overall, there are really no complaints there. It’s possible, I might’ve sensed a slight air of haughtiness from the main server but then decided to let it slide when she mispronounced amuse bouche. Guess you’re more nervous and new than you are smug.
We ordered the full degustation course to share, and the winter truffle and celeriac soup because I was craving something comforting.
First came the amuse bouche, a shotglass of watercress soup with lemon cream and caviar. Cold, buttery, rich and somewhat starchy. Nothing spectacular. There were no expectations, and therefore no disappointment to follow. It tasted kinda like the spinach soup I make at home, though mine is usually served warm in big bowls with a side of country bread.
Then came the salad. Whatever it was, it was clearly unforgettable because of the rancidness of the dish. Yes. I said it. Rancid. In an acclaimed restaurant. The baked strips of root vegetable just didn’t go with the random sprinkling of walnuts and grassy greens. Ech! And the rancidness! I couldn’t get over it. Like the smell of the place, it just wouldn't go away! Was it the nuts? Or the oil used for the vinaigrette? We couldn’t tell. But it left a bitter taste in our mouths and we decided to stop eating halfway. Yuck.
Along came the side order of soup with consommé. Ahh… Nice and hearty, with just enough truffle. Not bad.
Shortly after the seared Hokkaido scallop floating in green mouselline arrived at our table. Ok. I hate to use the same negative adjective over and over again, but this was NOT phenomenal. The bf commented that it was overcooked and yet not seared enough on the outside. Agreed. I feel like I’ve had better scallops at Hokkaido, or California for that matter.
The quail came, and was probably the teeniest bird I’ve ever seen in my life. And yet again, I kid you not, it was floating in some kind of sauce. Where’s the creativity people???! *Yawn. The bird was nice and gamey though the chef must've been heavy with the salt rendering it difficult to eat after few bites. Strike 2.
The foie gras was served and I thought, "This is the defining moment." Being quick to adopt liver of all kinds, I let my guard down. The crumble was a nice departure from the usual brioche or toasts, so score 1 for creativity. While this was likely one of the better dishes at Sage, and I bet the chef knows it, it was still veiny and overly salty. Just a little less salt would’ve made ALL the difference. And I can't for the life of me understand how any dining establishment could get this wrong. Gotta love the generous portion, though a little more crumble wouldn't hurt.
Following that, I vaguely remember fish that came in a pale pool of sauce (again??!) and venison.
Course after course of forgettable dishes the bf started getting restless, and was already drumming his fingers. Mind you, we weren’t rushing off anywhere. He just “couldn’t take it anymore.”
So when the final dish came, we were somewhat relieved to be done with the whole ordeal, though it wasn't to end on a good note. Upon taking a bite of the porcini mushrooms that came with the veal, the bf lost his patience (and certainly manners along the way) and exclaimed, “these mushrooms taste like a cow’s anus!!!”
We paused for a split second, then burst into peals of laughter. What a pathetic dining experience!
When the blueberry chocolate dessert was placed before our eyes, we grudgingly reached for it with our forks. "How bad could chocolate be after all?" I said optimistically though I’ve never really explored the possibility of the chocolate and blueberry combo. Do these two even go well together? Right as I was, the mildness of blueberries was masked by the chocolate, which wasn’t even rich to begin with. Manjari huh? And the creme anglaise it was floating on (yes, I kid you not) left a film on the roof of your mouth.
There you go. Dinner at Sage? No deal.
I'm not an expert food reviewer by any means, but I feel like people should know what they're in for when they decide to spend decent money for a meal. How this place got an 8 in HungryGoWhere really makes me question the community’s palate.